Section Five: Performance and Conduct

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Performance Expectations

The following are expectations for acceptable personal conduct for graduate assistants; academic departments may have additional expectations based on the needs of the position.

  • Graduate assistants are expected to carry out their instructions, duties, and responsibilities as specified by their directing faculty. When a student reports to two directing faculty, the supervising director of graduate studies will oversee coordination of work, as necessary.  
  • Graduate assistants are expected to conduct personal business unrelated to their positions on their own time.
  • Graduate assistants are expected to respect university property and equipment, and to use it only for appropriate university purposes.
  • Graduate assistants are expected to use care in guarding university keys and must not lend, borrow, duplicate, or use them for inappropriate purposes. University keys are required to be returned at the end of the award period.
  • Graduate assistants are expected to perform their duties without impairment or the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Graduate assistants are required to adhere to all academic regulations as stated in this Graduate Assistant Handbook and the Graduate School Bulletin.

At the beginning of each semester, graduate assistants are expected to schedule a meeting with their directing faculty during which responsibilities and goals for the semester are discussed. Following the meeting, graduate assistants are expected to send an email to their directing faculty documenting the responsibilities and goals discussed.

Periodic check-ins referencing the beginning-of-semester meeting are encouraged and directing faculty are to conduct performance evaluations, with the guidance of the supervising director of graduate studies each semester. (See Performance Evaluation.)

General Standards of Conduct

In general, graduate assistants are expected to be professional, respectful of others, as well as helpful and welcoming to all constituencies. Graduate assistants should be aware that they are ambassadors both for their department and for the university. Graduate assistants have significant contact with students and other university stakeholders and the tone and appearance they convey during that contact is important. A combination of professional courtesy and common sense is appropriate and expected.

Graduate assistants are responsible for knowing applicable departmental, college, and institutional policies and for following them consistently. Graduate assistants are obligated to maintain standards of academic and employee honesty and integrity and to follow university academic integrity, processes, and uphold conduct codes and policies.

Student Code of Conduct

The mission of Marquette University can only be achieved in a campus environment in which people feel safe, sustained, engaged, challenged, and appreciated. This environment is created by the active contributions of every member of the Marquette community and in turn creates a campus ethos that calls us to act with integrity and compassion; to promote a culture of learning, appreciation, and understanding; to take responsibility to confront difficult issues and solve problems; and to behave in ways that reflect care, respect, and honesty.

The standards of conduct are intended to incorporate other specific university policies by reference. These policies include the Information Technology Services’ policy on acceptable use of university computer, network, telephone and other electronic resources. The educational mission reflects a commitment to the development of the whole person. As a university, love of the truth is at the center of our enterprise: This ideal is lived out through the virtues of truthfulness, honesty and personal honor. While at Marquette University, students are expected to demonstrate the personal characteristics of honesty and integrity in all aspects of their campus life, both inside and outside the classroom.

Any behavior that violates the Student Code of Conduct will result in appropriate discipline.

Sexual Harassment and Title XI Policies

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on a person’s sex or gender (including pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity) or perceived sex or gender. The victim and the harasser can be of the same gender. Sexual harassment can include: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, any verbal or physical harassment of any nature. Other sex-based harassment may include: offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, or offensive objects or pictures.

Gender-based physical or verbal conduct violates Marquette University policy when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying, or limiting someone’s ability to participate in, or benefit from, the university’s education programs, employment and/or activities. Graduate assistants are subject to Title IX regulations.

Conflicts of Interest

Graduate assistants are expected to be attentive to potential conflicts of interest in which their personal interests or affiliations might compete with their professional responsibilities. For instance, a conflict might arise for a research assistant if their significant other or an immediate family member is working for an organization with interests in the same area as the research project on which they are working.  A conflict might arise for a teaching assistant if a family member is in a class for which the assistant has grading responsibilities. Conflicts of interest sometimes happen in the normal course of one’s professional experiences. When they do, it is appropriate to develop processes that mitigate the conflict. If a graduate assistant identifies a potential conflict of interest, they are to report it to their supervisor to develop a mitigation plan.

Harassment Policy

Marquette University, as a Catholic, Jesuit institution, insists that all human beings possess an inherent dignity and equality because they are made in the image and likeness of God. The university entirely and consistently disowns, as a matter of principle, any unlawful or wrongful discrimination against the rights of others. Marquette University seeks to provide an environment whereby students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors can study, work, and experience the university community without harassment or discrimination.

Marquette University prohibits harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, veteran’s status or national origin, or any other characteristics protected by law, in its programs and activities. In addition to being contrary to the university’s Mission and Guiding Values, harassment and discrimination are prohibited by this policy, the university’s Sexual Harassment, and Sex Discrimination Policy, and state and federal laws. The university is dedicated to providing a prompt and thorough response to conduct that adversely impacts, or has the potential to adversely impact, the educational or work environment of Marquette University faculty, students, staff, guests and visitors.

This Harassment and Discrimination Policy (“Policy”) has been developed to provide recourse for individuals who believe their rights as protected by this Policy have been violated, and serves as a means to determine, after the fact, if specific behaviors constitute violations of this Policy.

Prohibited Conduct under this Policy

Harassment, as defined by this Policy, includes any action, language or visual representation, based on any characteristic protected by law including race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, veteran’s status or national origin, that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently offensive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that individual’s work or academic performance, or that creates a hostile working, educational or living environment.  Sexual harassment and harassment based on gender are prohibited at the university and are covered under the Marquette University Sexual Harassment and Sex Discrimination Policy, as are other forms of Sexual Misconduct defined therein (including sexual assault, dating or relationship violence or stalking).

Non-discriminatory harassment, as defined by this Policy, includes any action, language or visual representation, that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently offensive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with that person’s work or academic performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment.

It is a violation of this Policy for a member of the Marquette community (faculty, staff, student, guest or visitor, or anyone else acting at the instigation of a Marquette community member) to:

  • Engage in any form of harassment whether intentional or unintentional on the campus or in the off-campus area.
  • Retaliate against a person who has initiated an inquiry or complaint having to do with harassment.

Ethical Conduct of Research (for RAs)

Graduate assistants must attend to the ethical conduct of research as students and as graduate assistants, including reporting any suspected research misconduct.

Marquette University has a duty to ensure the integrity of research and will respond to each allegation of research misconduct in a thorough, competent, timely, objective, and fair manner. This policy applies to all disciplines of research including the applied and natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Its reach covers all institutional members of Marquette University and any individual who is employed by, is an agent of, or is affiliated by contract or agreement with the institution:  institutional officials, tenured and untenured faculty, staff, researchers, research coordinators, clinical technicians, postdoctoral and other fellows, students, volunteers, agents, and contractors, subcontractors, and subawardees, and their employees. This policy applies not only to recipients of federal grants but also to individuals engaging in non-federally funded research. Students who are accused of research misconduct are subjected to the guidelines of this policy. However, students who are accused of academic dishonesty not relating to sponsored research will be under the jurisdiction of other existing university policies.

Research misconduct is contrary to the integrity of research and to the interests of the university and those entities that sponsor the university's research. The institution has a duty to ensure the integrity of research and primary responsibility for responding to and reporting allegations of research misconduct. The institution will respond to each allegation of research misconduct in a thorough, competent, timely, objective, and fair manner.

Marquette University's policy is consistent with the requirements of federal agencies from which the institution requests and receives funding for research and research training, including 42 CFR part 93, "Public Health Service Policies on Research Misconduct."

Marquette University recognizes an obligation to its students, faculty and staff, and to the friends and organizations with whom it does business, to maintain the highest ethical standards. To facilitate this, the university has chosen EthicsPoint to provide you with an anonymous way to confidentially report activities that may represent misconduct. You may file an anonymous report through this site or by calling EthicsPoint toll-free at (800) 445-7068.  See the Marquette University Reporting Hotline and the Research Misconduct Policy for additional information.

Instructional Application of the Academic Integrity Policy (for TAs)

As an institution of higher education, Marquette University is committed to developing the whole person, and academic integrity in all its forms is an explicit value of the university community including students, faculty and staff. The development and practice of academic honesty and integrity, both inside and outside the classroom, are expectations for all members of the university community.

TAs who are instructors of record or support faculty are expected to uphold the university’s academic integrity standards and abide by the Honor Code, which obliges instructors to:

  1. Monitor and design exams and assignments so that honest students will not be disadvantaged by other students who might choose to cheat if given the opportunity.
  2. Report circumstances that may compromise academic honesty, such as inattentive proctoring or premature posting of answers.
  3. Follow all published procedures regarding cases of academic misconduct.
  4. Report any observed breaches of this Honor Code and academic honesty.

Reported incidents of academic misconduct are addressed following the steps specified in the Academic Misconduct Overview.

TAs may find it beneficial to review the Best Practices for Faculty made available by the Academic Integrity Office.

Working with Confidential Information

Graduate assistants may have access to private or confidential information. This information can range from students’ academic records, medical history and/or proprietary data collected as part of an ongoing research project. The university closely follows several federal regulations regarding the privacy of student information, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Graduate assistants are required to follow these Acts, and any other university- or federally imposed rules concerning the privacy or confidentiality of information. Adherence to these privacy and confidentiality requirements includes the time spent at your assistantship and time spent outside your assistantship. Failure to follow established rules concerning private or confidential information may result in immediate dismissal (see Rescission of Assistantship). If you are unsure how to respond to a request for potentially private or confidential information, or whether information is, in fact, private or confidential, speak with your supervisor immediately.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

If your assistantship duties entail working with student data, you will be required to complete FERPA training. You will be informed of this process by your department.

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)

If your assistantship duties entail working with patient data, you will be required to complete HIPAA training by your department.

The Marquette University Health Information Privacy Policy (the "University Policy") is implemented as a matter of sound healthcare practice; to protect the interests of our patients; and to fulfill Marquette's legal obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"), its implementing regulations at 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164 (Fed. Reg. 82462 (Dec. 28, 2000) ("Privacy Rules"), as amended by modifications proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in March of 2002, and state law that provides greater protection or rights to patients than the Privacy Rules.

University HIPAA Security Policy


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